How the Oocho’ Got His Tail

2021 April 2021 Kirby Vickery

By Kirby Vickery on the April 2021 Edition

During the days of the Creation the Oocho’, better known to-day as the Fox that looked quite a bit different than he does today. His shape was a lot like a weasel’s, and he had a weasel’ s tail, which was rather short and skimpy with no distinction to it at all.

One day, he was out hunting, and our story picks up where he is about to corner his favorite food. He almost had a T’u’ul (Mayan for Rabbit) exactly where he wanted him and then he was going to pounce, grab, and eat yet another still warm feast. As he hunkered down and placed his feet exactly in the right spots, the t’u’ul made a predicted turn to the left. The Fox leapt just as a cloud hid the sun.

The result was that our sneaky hero went hungry for another day because he simply missed the rabbit and took a bite out of a cactus. Trotting home, while spitting thorns, he started thinking that if everyone saw what had happened they would realize that his vision wasn’t quite what it used to be and that he needed the full sun to be able to see to hunt. His life would get real short after that because all his prey would soon learn to only come out when it rained or the sky was cloudy, which, in the jungle, was most of the time.

After conjuring up a plan to hide all the clouds, he talked his friend Lik’ (the wind) into helping him by telling him that he could blow harder without all that water in the air slowing everything down. After awhile, everyone saw Oocho’ running here and there all over the place helping Lik’ to round up all the clouds in the sky and push them all behind the moon where the sun couldn’t see them and the Rain God, Chac, couldn’t find them.

With the clouds all locked up out of sight, the Fox was going crazy catching everything in sight. He didn’t notice that other animals were becoming very thirsty. The fish in the lakes and sea were starting to gasp for more water and the birds all fell silent and stopped flying because of the dryness of the air.

After just a few days, even Lik’ the wind was suffering because he could no longer blow gentle breezes that refreshed the land and everyone in it. Most everyone knew that this was the end of their world.

Chac, the god of rain, had a unique and distinct appearance among his fellow gods and goddesses. He had a long face with an exceptionally long and hooked nose [looked like a nose of the elephant] which was also turned up. Under that nose, he had  exposed  long  and  sharpened  fangs  and  a  tongue  that dropped beyond his neck when he had his head turned upward.

The other thing he was capable of doing that no one at the time knew about was to split himself into four “assistants.” They were:

Sac Xib Chac. North, White

Chas Xib Chac. East, Red

Kan Xib Chac. South, Yellow

Ek Xib Chac. West, Black

Split apart like this, and moving quickly, it wasn’t too much time before one of them found where Oocho’ had hidden the winds in back of the placid Ujo’ (or Moon). Because Lik’ didn’t care about a lot of things, he helped Chac push the clouds, and subsequently the rain, back in place just in time for the annual monsoon rains which saved all the plants and other life forms which depended on the rainfall more than monsoon deluge for their area.

After that, the sun shone over the refreshed land. Then the land flourished again and the birds and insects sang and most all the animals were able to drink in spite of getting a little wet now and then.

The fox was miffed at his friend, Wind, but didn’t say anything and continued hunting even in the rain. As it happened, one day he had missed his third rabbit that he had chosen and long chased when he heard Chac and his new friend Lik’ the wind walking down the path talking back and forth as friends do.

Chac was telling Lik’ that he understood the Wind’s desire to blow longer and harder and that he thought that it might be a good idea if he were to establish different seasons in different parts of the land which would allow Lik’ to blow as hard as he liked but only in certain areas at certain times.

Lik’ was thinking over this offer and concept when they stumbled over the quivering fox that had run out of places to hide. Chac immediately slammed his foot down on the Fox’s tail, which smashed and broke it.

So, the poor thing was just lying there all broken and withered. Oocho’ was crying out in pain when Chac told him that it served him right.

As a matter of fact, he continued, seeing that your method of hunting depends on stealth and your success on the lack of it, I am changing your tail to be long, bright and fluffy which could help or hinder you as punishment for taking our world’s clouds and rain away.

With that said, he lifted up his foot and the Oocho’ tail was longer, and bright red except at the tip.

The fox was stunned but not totally unhappy. Then Chac, the Mayan God of Rain, caused a very small but intense rain downfall on that tail followed by a lightning strike which dried it very quickly into something that looked like it just came out from a modern hair dryer.

The fox was speechless while just staring at this new fluffy tail he found stuck to his back end. He had two thoughts.

The first thought was that he figured he could use it to distract his prey when attacking and the second was that it would be a very nice, soft, and warm thing to wrap around himself at night when the wind got cold.










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